GRRN Colorado Retreat
Invite...        (This was sent prior to the retreat.)

GrassRoots Recycling Network's annual planning retreat will be in Colorado, October 6-9. GRRN is making significant progress on campaigns for producer and government responsibility for waste. Our success to date is based on the fact that we are a growing network. We are seeking to create diverse coalitions, which is why we are inviting key leaders like yourself to assess progress and plan next steps for the zero waste campaign and revitalizing the grassroots recycling movement. We expect participants to come from all corners of the United States and some from Canada.

The upside is that we'll be meeting in a spectacular location in the Rocky Mountains above Boulder and you'll be exchanging ideas with some of the most dynamic activists, thinkers and recyclers in the country. Colorado is also home of GRRN's first chapter and of one of the country's best community-based recycling organizations, Eco-Cycle. The downside is that we do not have funds to cover travel or lodging for folks who are not on GRRN's board or staff. However, costs at the camp are a bargain: $35/day/person for meals and lodging (bring a sleeping bag if possible). What's more, the camp is larger than we will need, so spouses, significant others and children are welcome (kid care may be arranged if there is enough interest). Eric Lombardi from Eco-Cycle tells us the scenery will be awesome, the aspens in color and the weather perfect (just chilly at night).

Travel time from Denver International Airport to the Trinity Ranch is almost 2 hours by car and more by public transportation.

Please try to get an early flight so you don't have to be on winding roads after dark! We will post bus schedules for those who plan to come by bus, and map directions for those who will drive. We would also like to coordinate rides for car renters, so let Chris know flight arrival options before booking.

SCHEDULE: General sharing and strategy sessions to review old and plan new campaigns (see below) will be between Friday dinner and Sunday lunch, so plan to come at least during that time. You are welcome to arrive as early as Thursday (the GRRN board will be arriving Thursday evening and meeting Friday) and stay over Sunday night.

You are also invited to join us in a special workshop Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, to develop plans for a Zero Waste USA Trust fund. The Trust would promote zero waste planning at the 'end of the pipe'(in communities) by funding local government planning and zero waste consultants, businesses and non-profits. Warren Snow, director of Zero Waste New Zealand Trust, will be joining us to share his experience in setting up a very successful organization (a third of NZ governments pledged to "zero waste from landfill by 2015").

Meeting AGENDAS    top
Thursday, October 5
We have the camp reserved Thursday night for GRRN Board; others welcome.

Friday, October 6
Afternoon: Arrive at Trinity Mountain Fellowship Camp in Blackhawk (2.5 hours from Denver airport via Boulder)
Dinner: First meal
Evening: GRRN Retreat Main retreat meeting starts.

Saturday, October 7
All day: GRRN Retreat.

Sunday, October 8
Morning: GRRN Retreat wrap-up
Afternoon, evening: Optional meeting on forming a Zero Waste USA Trust.

Monday, October 9
Morning: Finish up ZW USA Trust
Lunch: Clean up & depart.

GRRN Update & Prospects    top

Here are some areas of progress since GRRN's last retreat in May 1999:

  • The Coca-Cola Company has committed to using 10 percent recycled plastic in a quarter of its bottles this year; and Miller Brewing Company has agreed to use recycling-friendly caps and labels, as well as initial recycled content in their new plastic beer bottles (more to be done on both, but that's a start!).
  • Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) sent our report, Wasting and Recycling in the U.S. 2000 (written by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance) to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and seeks our help in getting Congress to recycle.
  • Our grassroots video, Zero Waste: Impossible Dream or Realistic Goal? (co-produced by Dr. Paul Connett and GRRN), has been distributed in 20 countries since September and translated into 2 languages.
  • These achievements would not have been possible without new partners - like Jobs Boycott which helped pressure Coke by bringing our 20-foot Coke bottle to dozens of college campuses, and like Essential Action which did most of the international video distribution.
New strategic opportunities for linking the Zero Waste campaign to new constituencies include:
  • Establishing a Business-Environmentalist Alliance for Recycling to work for container deposit legislation (in progress).
  • Linking with forest and waste activists in market campaigns, researching forest product waste, and organizing 'Stumps-to-Dumps' events.
  • Joining forces with other groups working on producer responsibility issues.
  • Working to get Congress to recycle - or recycle Congress!
  • Planning a Zero Waste USA Trust.